If I cannot get into a university should I look into private schools to get my BSN

  1. I am having a difficult time in finding a BSN program. I have been in community college for 5 years and did not get the best of grades when I first started. I have applied to Northern Arizona, Marshall University and U of North Florida. If I can get all A's in my 7 classes this semester my GPA will be at a 3.25. I know I am running out of options as many nursing programs deadlines have already passed. I currently live in California and am willing to go anywhere. I have emailed many public schools on the east coast and most dont take transfers or require a 3.5 GPA. I just started looking at private schools application deadlines and saw many weren't until April-July to get in this Fall.
    I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on this topic.
    I currently have 3 attempts in microbiology which also limits me in the schools I would be accepted into. (took it once, got a D, took it again with the same teacher, got a D again.. took it in my last attempt with a different teacher, got an A...)

    I did get accepted to my local state university but I would not be able to take nursing there. I would have to get my BSN in human development and then after than do an accelerated program. If I could get into a nursing program though, I would prefer to do that then have to wait two more years getting a bachelors in something just for the hell of it, to then get to nursing.

    Thank you for your advice!
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   NurseSpeedy
    I attended a private school for my LPN to RN bridge not because my grades weren't high enough but because (at the time) they had no time limit to their credit transfers for math and science. I paid bout $20k to save myself time, but it would have been cheaper to go to a community college. 2 year degrees are very high at private schools if all of the credits are obtained there (over $40k). BSNs are a whole lot worse. My suggestion would be to get an associate degree in nursing, obtain your RN, and then bridge over to a BSN program. If you can get into a community college it would be the cheapest. If you go the private route just make sure the credits will transfer to the public BSN program that you would want to attend (this is where accreditations come into play) This will save you a LOT of money over going the completely private route.
  4. by   llg
    What do you mean by "private" school? Do you mean "for-profit" school? Not all private schools are "for-profit" businesses. Many of the nations finest schools, (such as Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, etc.) are private, non-profit schools.

    I would not recommend a "for-profit" school to anyone. But there is nothing inherently wrong with going to a reputable, not-for-profit private school.
  5. by   Extra Pickles
    There is a difference between private and for-profit, and it's a huge thing to consider and be cautious about. Paying extra money for a private school so that you can get into the workforce faster is understandable. But here's where you have to be careful. Make sure that the school that interests you has an excellent NCLEX pass rate, that they enjoy an excellent reputation, that the credits will transfer to another school if you want to continue to higher education.

    In recent years there's grown an abundance of schools that advertise no-wait lists, or sound impressive but in actuality are very expensive and don't prepare their students well to take the licensing exam which is after all the whole point of getting through a program! Be sure your intended school is accredited, regionally or nationally, and know what that will mean when it comes to transferring credits or getting a job. Schools can be very pricey and sound impressive but in reality are expensive pits that don't end with employment.

    Private schools with good passing rates, good reputations, good accreditation, YES. Expensive schools with not so good passing rates, mediocre or poor reputations, no accreditation, NO. Good luck!
  6. by   hollycamillex3
    Yeah, I do mean private, non-profit schools. Not, for-profit. I have read things online that "they take anyone" and although you can get your BSN or whatever from them, its not really accredited.

    I will have obtained two AA degrees from my community college, and just wanted to transfer into a BSN program. I know I cant do accelerated because you have to already have a BS in something else, however, again, my GPA, if i get all A's will only be a 3.25.
    I have emailed just about every school on the east coast that was public, so far, and all but a few said my GPA was either too low, they didnt take transfers, or they required students to complete prerequisites at the school.
    My thought was, if I try and look at private schools, maybe the GPA requirement might be lower, and if your willing to pay more then transferring might be easier.

    I have been using Page not found | Discover Nursing
    and literally going by state, through the list of BSN programs. I have not looked at the private options though.

    Thank you for your reply!
  7. by   brownbook
    Yes as NurseSpeedy said, get an associate degree in nursing.

    A co-worker was a CNA, took all the nursing pre-requirements, got all A's, and could not get into any BSN or even ADN program. They took applicants on a lottery system, it was, is, crazy. She got her LVN at a public community college, took classes at public and private schools towards her BSN. Finally got accepted into a public BSN program. Has a great job today.

    She had a lot of roadblocks but was very determined. I don't think I would or could have done it!
  8. by   TheCommuter
    Moved to the Pre-Nursing Student forum for more feedback.
  9. by   hollycamillex3
    When I had called a school in Florida they suggested I get my RN and then do an RN to BSN program. I just keep thinking I don't want everything I've taken at community college to be for nothing, or go towards something different. I have two AA degrees, one in Math and Science and another in Behavioral Science.
    I knew if I was going to consider private universities it would end up being a lot more, I'm just not sure how many more options I have, without "thorwing away" my 4 years at community college,
    Other than, going to get a Bachelors in Human development, then do a accelerated BSN
    Or, I magically get accepted into a BSN program for this fall.
    My thought was if you were willing to pay more, then it might be lower requirements. I know sometimes private schools are also religious schools and want you to have at least one religious prerequisite course, but I don't have any.

    Thank you for your reply!
  10. by   Extra Pickles
    Quote from hollycamillex3
    When I had called a school in Florida they suggested I get my RN and then do an RN to BSN program. I just keep thinking I don't want everything I've taken at community college to be for nothing, or go towards something different. I have two AA degrees, one in Math and Science and another in Behavioral Science. / I knew if I was going to consider private universities it would end up being a lot more, I'm just not sure how many more options I have, without "throwing away" my 4 years at community college,
    First, you aren't throwing away anything by getting an Associates in Nursing first rather than a BSN. The courses you took as pre-requisites for a nursing program are going to be needed in either event; if there is anything you threw away it is the coursework that was unnecessary for a nursing program admission. One post said you have been at CC for five years, and another said four years. Not sure which it is, but since you already know you needed to stay longer to improve your GPA, it isn't as if the extra time at CC would improve your degree options. You needed to improve your GPA to be acceptable to ANY school. So don't dwell on "wasted time", the time has been spent, it is what it is.


    My thought was if you were willing to pay more, then it might be lower requirements. I know sometimes private schools are also religious schools and want you to have at least one religious prerequisite course, but I don't have any.
    Not a great thought. If you are hoping for lowered requirements you aren't just looking for a more expensive GOOD school, you're looking for a more expensive BAD school. THEY are the ones that have the lower requirements, hence making it that bad option. Look at it realistically: consider the Ivy League, Hopkins, Duke, other Tier One schools, are they expensive? Yes. Are they accepting students with worse GPAs than the public schools? No. Unless you're a kid from an influential family, but let's not go there lol!

    Good schools have high standards, just how it is.
  11. by   hollycamillex3
    I started community college in 2012. This fall would be starting my fifth year if I stayed in community college.
    I currently have a 2.9 GPA, and with taking 7 classes with getting all A's I would still only come out with a 3.25. My counselor said with the amount of classes I have and the ones from when I first started are lower grades, its harder each semester to increase it.
    Since I haven't considered getting an associated in nursing, I'm not sure of any requirements - I'm sure I could easily find them online.
    I'm not sure if this is done at community colleges, as I haven't heard of any community colleges around me, in Southern California that have associates nursing programs.
    Also, I know one issue I have with some of the BSN programs is the amount of times I have retaken microbiology. California universities only allow one attempt at a retake, and I have three. I also got a C in anatomy and was told by some universities to retake it and theyd accept the highest grade, so I am working on getting an A this semester.

    Then if I got an associates then what kind of BSN program would I do? I want to assume maybe theres an Associates to Bachelors route? As I most often see either BSN or RN to BSN.

    Thank you very much for all your information.
  12. by   Extra Pickles
    Now that you have given more information, I think maybe some more discussion should be had regarding the possibility of you going into an LPN program. Associate degree in nursing programs are commonplace at community colleges. I don't know that every single Community College has a nursing program, but that is typically where they are done. You may very well have such a program in the school you have been dead for several years now. The problem that I see you having is the multiple retakes of classes, combined with a low GPA, it just doesn't make you a good candidate for any nursing school that I've heard of.

    Some of the less competitive schools may allow you to retake one class once or two classes once each, not sure about programs that would allow two retakes of the same course. Honestly, I would forget completely about a program that would allow three retakes of one course. That kind of track record takes you out of the running just about everywhere. A 2.9 GPA might be acceptable to only the least competitive programs. This is where those very expensive not very schools come into play. They accept students who aren't likely to get accepted anywhere else. But you were warned about those already.

    Your best bet may be to enroll in a vocational program for practical nursing. Some of these can be pretty competitive too, so I wouldn't consider it a shoo-in by any stretch. However, these are programs that are not college degrees, run anywhere from a little less than a year to a year-and-a-half or more. You have to look into what is available in your area. Given your academic record, this is the most realistic place for you to start into nursing. Once you have passed a nursing program for practical nursing, and get licensed as an LPN you could then apply to schools that have bridge programs. These programs allow you to take your LPN license as a foundation, add a year or so of nursing courses to complete a Nursing degree, and that would make you eligible to take the NCLEX RN.

    I know it isn't what you want to hear, I'm sorry this sounds dismal, but your academic history just isn't going to make the cut. If you want to be a nurse, become a practical nurse first. Morph that into a nursing degree and go from there. Good luck to you.
  13. by   Extra Pickles
    Really should have proof read first LOL! I meant the school you have been at for several years now, not dead for several years! Time for my nap :-)
  14. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from Extra Pickles
    I'm sorry this sounds dismal, but your academic history just isn't going to make the cut.
    This rings true especially in California, where the OP is located. It is one of the most impacted states with regards to nursing programs.

    I know of reputable schools outside California that would accept the OP into their nursing programs, but the only types of schools in CA that would accept a candidate with such a checkered academic history are the investor-owned institutions of shady repute (e.g. Univ of Phoenix, Everest, Brightwood, Kaplan, American Career College, West Coast Univ).

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